- School leaders can help new teachers transition to the classroom through in-person or online differentiated growth opportunities, targeted resources and coffee conversations, elementary educator and teacher coach Elaine Margarita Mendez writes for Edutopia.
- Mendez, who has taught in urban schools for 15 years, recommends leaders create a strategy based on teacher feedback about what they need. A transformational leadership framework takes into account individual differences and lets teachers set their own goals and paths to improvement.
- The data collected from feedback can allow leaders to find appropriate resources, book studies can help teachers hone skills on relevant topics, and coach-led “coffee and conversation” sessions provide a space where new teachers can share their experiences and receive support.
Teacher coaching is continuing remotely, with one area of focus on distance teaching skills and ed tech tools that aid remote teaching.
Some district-based ed tech coaches are implementing virtual office hours and giving presentations on learning management systems for teachers and parents, with a focus on both improving understanding of the LMS platforms and strengthening distance learning lessons.
Coaches can also be a source of support for teachers and students. The pressures of distance learning and in-class social distancing protocols are creating a mental health crisis among many of the country’s educators, as well as feelings of isolation among students.
One Colorado-based survey indicates teacher mental health has become a top priority for 90% of districts in the state. Education leaders and organizations have warned that the stress of teaching both in-person and remote during the pandemic is accelerating burnout and could trigger early retirement and career changes among educators.
Even if districts can’t offer instructional coaches, there are many other ways administrators can step in to help guide teachers through this uncharted territory, like hosting social hours. Leaders can also help teachers set achievable goals and reach manageable benchmarks, giving them a sense of accomplishment without overwhelming them.